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Your Captivating Love: The Bennett Family, #2

Your Captivating Love: The Bennett Family, #2

Автором Layla Hagen

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Your Captivating Love: The Bennett Family, #2

Автором Layla Hagen

4.5/5 (12 оценки)
272 pages
4 hours
Apr 12, 2016


Everyone knows my priorities. Logan Bennett, loyal to my family and my company. And that's all.

No time for love. No desire for it. Not since my failed engagement. I'm done with romance.

Then Nadine Hawthorne waltzes into my life as though she has no idea she's turning everything upside down. She's all, "oh, I'm focusing on my clothing company," and "I can't afford distractions," as though she isn't distracting me from focusing on anything but her.

She's sexy, she's captivating. She doesn't believe in love either.

Clearly, the best way to get each other out of our systems would be to have a brief fling. We're on the same page about love, after all. Being together is addicting… even if I am suspicious that my family is scheming about us.

Our attraction is fiery, and our connection is undeniable. I'm winning her over, and vice versa. What started as a flirtation is soon spiraling into much more than either of us are prepared for. So when a mistake threatens to tear us apart, will we have the strength to hold on?

Apr 12, 2016

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Your Captivating Love - Layla Hagen


Chapter One



How do you feel? I ask my sister the second she climbs in my car.

Pippa straightens her shoulders. Free. Finally.

She just signed her divorce papers, so I suppose free is the appropriate word. However, free does not equal fine, which means my top priority for today is taking care of my sister and cheering her up.

This was easy when we were teenagers. All I had to do to brighten her up was to make sure there was plenty of ice cream around, and possibly take her to see a movie. Now that she’s thirty, things have changed, but I’m still her older brother, and it’s still up to me to find a way to lift her spirits.

What do you want to do? I question.

Ava and Sebastian are having dinner at my favorite sushi restaurant. We could join them.

Sebastian won’t appreciate us crashing his date. Our brother fiercely guards his time with his fiancée.

Oh, we won’t, Pippa says. The corners of her mouth lift up in a genuine smile for the first time today. I narrow my eyes, sensing foul play. In the months since she discovered what a scumbag her now ex-husband is, Pippa has taken up a dangerous hobby: matchmaking. She told our mother her plan is to find the perfect match for each of her siblings. Since there are nine of us, it’s an ambitious project. Her first target was Sebastian, our oldest brother. As ridiculous as I find Pippa’s idea, he did end up with the perfect woman for him.

Our parents have been married for more than thirty years, and they love each other. I can understand the appeal the perfect match has to Pippa. I envy our parents too, but as far as I’m concerned, what they have is impossible to find. It was a lucky strike for them, as it was for Sebastian and Ava.

Unfortunately, Pippa seems to be focusing her matchmaking efforts on me now. Unbelievable. I’m the CFO of a billion-dollar company. I can get my own damn woman if I want one.

Pippa, will anyone else be joining Ava and Sebastian at dinner? I ask.

Ava’s best friend, Nadine. You know, the one who just moved here?

Jackpot. I knew this was a setup. I have two choices: put my foot down and tell my sister to find another pastime, or suck it up and go with her plan. The problem: I can’t say no to any of my three sisters. I never could, which often led me into trouble in the past. I have a hunch the same thing is about to happen. But even armed with this suspicion, I can’t say no. If meeting this Nadine will take my sister’s mind off her misery, even if only for a few hours, it’s worth it.

I’ve heard about her, I mumble.

Great, let’s go then. As I rev the car’s engine, I glance at my sister again. Pippa is now borderline ecstatic, which means I’m a dead man.

Nadine, you’d better be fun, or sexy.

Chapter Two


Welcome to San Francisco. My best friend, Ava, her fiancé, Sebastian Bennett, and I clink our glasses.

I’m so excited. It’s finally sinking in that I live here now. I moved to San Francisco two weeks ago; but I’ve spent most of my time running around getting my ducks in a row, which is why we’re just now having a welcome dinner. The place is perfect, with an outdoor bar overlooking the Twin Peaks, and an indoor restaurant. It’s elegant but not over the top, which I appreciate.

Ava has told me from the moment I arrived in town that the Bennetts are not snobs despite being billionaires, but I suspected her love for Sebastian made her biased. Upon meeting him and his sisters, Pippa and Alice, I realized Ava was right. They’re the opposite of snobs. Maybe it’s because they weren’t born into wealth.

In fact, Ava told me their family was scrambling to make ends meet when Sebastian started Bennett Enterprises more than a decade ago. Since then, it’s grown to be one of the most famous jewelry companies. This family has all my respect. I take meeting them as a good omen that things will be different for me in San Francisco. Better.

Pippa, Logan, glad you made it in time for a drink, Sebastian says to someone behind me. I turn on my heels and catch my breath. I’ve seen pictures of the entire Bennett family, and Logan caught my eye from the very beginning. But seeing him in the flesh is an entirely different experience. Dressed in a navy suit, Logan could easily grace a poster for men’s cologne. If they hung it on a billboard, I guarantee it’d cause major traffic accidents.

He’s hands down the sexiest man I’ve ever laid eyes on. He has broad shoulders and a muscular build, his high cheekbones emphasizing his dark eyes. His brown hair is ravished as if he just ran his hand through it. All of a sudden, my fingers yearn to touch those luscious locks and his full lips.


It’s been a long time since a man affected me this strongly. Biting the inside of my cheek, I look away from Logan. The last thing I need right now is to be pining after any man, especially my best friend’s future brother-in-law.

Logan, this is Nadine, Ava says. Without hesitation, Logan shakes my hand. His touch lights a match inside me.

Nice to meet you, Nadine. Even his voice is sexy. I keep my hand in his a little too long before realizing it’s time to break off the contact. I withdraw my hand quickly, giving him a small smile.

Let’s get you two some drinks, Sebastian chimes in. He calls a waitress over and we order. She brings the drinks to us in no time. 

We nurse our drinks while standing around a high bar table. I do my best to keep my gaze from Logan and fail often. Oh, what the hell... I might be on a self-imposed break from men, but that doesn’t mean I can’t admire a fine specimen of the male variety when I see one. Let the ogling of Logan Bennett officially begin.

Let’s toast to Pippa’s freedom, Sebastian suggests, snapping me out of my daydreaming. Right. I remember Ava telling me Pippa signed her divorce papers today. As we toast, I notice a shift in the siblings’ body language. At the word freedom, Pippa’s smile faltered. Logan and Sebastian both put a reassuring hand on her shoulder.

If you want us to mess up the guy’s face or life, say the word, Logan tells her, and I have the slight suspicion he’s only half joking. His grip on her shoulder tightens a notch, and Pippa’s smile returns. It’s endearing to see them show so much tenderness toward their sister. I’m an only child, so I wouldn’t know anything about this firsthand. It must be wonderful to have someone to rely on through the good and bad. I mostly have to rely on myself.

When the going gets rough, I eat chocolate, drink a glass of wine, and then put my proverbial boxing gloves on.

My brother, always the hothead. Sebastian shakes his head.

Logan merely grins. Well, someone has to be, since you’re so sensible all the time. It’s annoying.

Why don’t we talk about your— Sebastian begins, now smiling too.

Logan interrupts him. Watch your tongue, Sebastian. We don’t want Nadine here to get the wrong impression about me.

I chuckle at their banter. This family is growing on me with each passing second.

He likes to tell everyone he’s the nice brother, Pippa informs me solemnly. "And he is nice. Until he thinks someone around him is threatened, and then he’s not nice anymore."

That sounds like very rational behavior, I answer in an equally solemn tone.

See, smart girl. Logan raises his glass in my direction and pins me with his gaze, igniting every inch of my body. I’m wearing a fitted black dress and a short jacket, which is currently open. Without even bothering to pretend, his eyes travel all over my body, resting briefly on my hips then breasts before returning to my face. I cock an eyebrow. The corners of his lips lift in a smile.

Well, then.

That’s when I catch Pippa watching us.

I’m cold, she says abruptly. Her comment surprises me since it’s not cold at all. I’m going to wait for you all inside. She and Ava exchange looks.

I’ll join you. I finished my drink anyway, Ava says.

I can’t very well leave two beautiful ladies alone. I’ll join you, Sebastian adds. Logan, can you keep Nadine company while she finishes her drink?

Logan narrows his eyes at his brother and sister while I barely contain my laughter. I overheard Ava and Pippa planning to play matchmakers for Logan and me, but could they be more obvious? They both head inside with Sebastian tailing them.

The second we’re alone, the air between us thickens with tension. His mortification with his siblings apparently forgotten, Logan’s gaze is smoldering once more. I struggle for words to fill the silence, but being on the receiving end of his attention is a tad more than my mind can process, and definitely too much for my body. My nipples harden beneath my flimsy dress as heat pools in my lower body.

Wow, that was smooth, Logan comments. In the interest of starting with a clean slate, I must tell you that my siblings are playing—

A matchmaking game? Yeah, I noticed. They’ve told me a lot about you, Logan. Smiling, I take a sip of my martini.

All good things, I hope, he says.

Well, good is relative. Interpretable.

Logan groans, circling the table to stop right next to me. My body buzzes with life at his proximity.

Also in the interest of starting with a clean slate, please tell me what you’ve been told. I need to debunk those myths.

Nothing too bad, don’t worry. That you’re smart, competitive. With a smile, I add as an afterthought, And that you have a giant-sized ego.

Logan gives me an I-told-you-so look. See, that last bit is entirely untrue.

Is that so?

You have my word.

Mmm... Actions speak louder than words. Time will tell.

Am I on a probation period of some kind? He leans toward me, and I take a deep breath. Big mistake. He smells amazing: ocean and sandalwood and inherent masculinity. My knees weaken.

Maybe, I answer playfully. He laughs, a sound that puts me at ease and makes my heart gallop all at once. Logan Bennett isn’t just sexy; this man is sex on a stick.

Logan trains his eyes on me. I’ve heard a lot about you too.

Do I need to prepare my defense?

No need. I’ve heard only good things.

Really? What did you hear?

That you’re smart, passionate, and driven.

I grin. Ava can pitch a person, can’t she?

She can, and she’s rarely wrong.

Ava works with Logan, Sebastian, and Pippa at Bennett Enterprises. My friend is brilliant, and I love her. We met in New York during college, and we’ve been friends ever since.

Someone knocks into me from behind, sending a sharp pain through my shoulder and hip. An inebriated asshole grins at me, staring languidly at my cleavage. I ball my hands into fists, preparing to apply what I’ve learned in my self-defense lessons if he makes as much as one inappropriate comment.

Apologize to her, Logan booms, and the asshole cowers under Logan’s gaze; I suspect his impressive height and build also contribute.

Sorry, the guy says and scurries away. Logan rubs his palm up and down my back in a protective gesture. His touch burns me and, at the same time, a sense of safety grips me.

I heard you want to open a clothing store, Logan says in an obvious attempt to get over the asshole incident.

I do. A luxury gowns boutique.

It’s a great idea.

You really think so? Aside from Ava, people usually don’t react enthusiastically, often countering with Wouldn’t a job be safer? Yeah, I’m chasing a dream. But if I don’t do it, no one will do it for me.

Yeah, I’m all up for people striking out on their own.

It’s risky, but I’ve decided not to put it off any longer. It’s been my dream for a long time. I’ve had a few hiccups on the road, and now I’ve decided to do it.

Hiccups is putting it mildly. I’ve been saving for this ever since college and hoped to open the shop by the time I was twenty-five. Then life happened. My parents lost their jobs, and I moved back home to help them, which depleted my savings. I don’t regret it, though. I would do anything to help my parents. After they were back on their feet, I started saving again for my shop.

Then I met Thomas, and things went south once again. I shake my head, steeling myself. I won’t think about my ex now; he’s in the past, and that’s where he belongs. I bounced back after his betrayal, working harder than ever. This time, I’ll make it. Logan’s staring at me, a mix of worry and curiosity in his eyes. Damn, am I so easy to read?

I give myself a mental slap. I have all the reasons to smile, after all. I moved to a new city, close to my best friend. I have a sexy man in front of me, who may or may not be flirting with me. He’s completely off-limits, but that’s something I’ll worry about later on.

Anyway, I turned thirty a few months ago. If not now, when? I smile at him genuinely. Oh, God. I just blurted out my age to a man, which I’ve never done. It’s all his fault; I just feel so at ease around him.

If you want to do something, go for it. If there’s anything, we can do to help, tell me. After all, Bennett Enterprises is in the luxury industry too.

I know. I don’t bother to hide the longing in my voice. Your jewelry is so beautiful. I feel like crying every time I see photos in a magazine.

They make you cry? He creases his forehead. I would’ve hoped they made you smile. Leaning in closer, he adds, You light up when you smile.

Right. He’s definitely flirting. I lick my lips, shifting my weight from one leg to another. The problem is I like his flirty side, and I have no business liking that. Since I broke up with Thomas, I’ve put up solid walls around me. Apparently, they’re not as solid as I thought, or maybe Logan is exceptionally good at dismantling them. At any rate, I will work on solidifying said walls.

Logan pulls back a notch. Have you looked at retail spaces? His tone is all businesslike now.

Not yet. I’ve been busy finding a place to live. I’ll start hunting for a space next week.

I have a friend who’s an excellent realtor. I can hook you up with him.

That’d be great. To have this practical stranger immediately offer his support is... Wow.

Logan’s stance changes from carefree to tense in a fraction of a second. On second thought, I’ll go with you when you meet the first time.

It’s really not necessary. I eye him curiously, trying to decipher the reason behind the change.

I insist.

You don’t take no for an answer, do you?

Not taking his eyes off me, he says, Never.

My skin tingles, my pulse pounding furiously. I whistle loudly, hoping to hide the effect he has on me. I guess the things I’ve heard about you are true after all.

Ah. That didn’t earn me points for the ego thing, did it?

No, but I’m willing to wait for more proof.

Very generous of you. This realtor friend of mine is a notorious womanizer. I’d feel much better knowing you’re not meeting him alone.

I can take care of myself.

I have no doubt. I’m still coming with you, he says.

Who’s to say I’ll be safe with you? I just met you.

Ah, but I have the Bennett name to back me up. Haven’t you heard? I’m the nice brother. I’m safe and trustworthy.

To his credit, Logan says this with a straight face, even though mischief flickers in his eyes. Ah, I love a man with humor. Unfortunately, I disagree with him. He may be trustworthy, but he’s not safe. A man who can make me laugh with a few words and ignite me with his gaze all at the same time is anything but safe.

So, I’ll be joining you when you meet my friend. His tone is final, and I don’t insist. I know how to pick my battles, and I have a suspicion there are many to come where Logan is concerned. Now, I suggest we join the group inside. I’m starving.


I walk in front of Logan, sensing his eyes on me the whole way. My body simmers with awareness. I’m in big trouble, and I have a suspicion it’s about to get worse.



The dinner goes by fast and, at some point, Alice joins us. After dessert, Ava and Nadine inform us they’re leaving. To my surprise, this disappoints me.

Nadine still has a lot to unpack, and I offered to help her, Ava says. You four have fun.

As the two of them leave, I can’t help myself from glancing appreciatively at Nadine’s backside. I can proudly say I’m an ass man. I appreciate it in every shape, but Nadine’s is perfect. Every part of her is, and I’ve studied her plenty tonight. Her long, brown hair and tan complexion contrast starkly but beautifully with her blue eyes.

Her full breasts and the swell of her hips are mouth-watering. I was hoping she’d be hot or funny, and I got both. In fact, she’s so much more than that, I can’t even describe it. She was so full of energy and passion when she spoke about her store that I nearly kissed her... to check if she’d do that with as much passion too.

No sooner are Nadine and Ava out the door than Pippa’s stance changes. She gazes at me expectantly, her eyes wide and full of excitement. Sebastian is reading something on his phone, so at least my brother isn’t in on the charade. Alice scans the menu, so I’m clear on that front too.

Wait a minute.

Alice is throwing me curious glances every few seconds. Ah, man, Pippa’s dragged Alice into this matchmaking thing, hasn’t she? I’m a dead man. The problem with loving my sisters is that they’re very much aware that I do, and they take advantage of it. The women in our family have us men wrapped around their little fingers. Me, especially. Individually, I might stand a chance of fighting off their plan. When they join forces? No chance in hell.

I was hoping to have Alice on my side tonight. Apparently not. . .

Welcome to the Bennett clan, where alliances change faster than the wind and every sibling thinks they know what’s better for every other sibling. There are nine of us, three sisters, six brothers. I’m guilty of plenty of meddling myself. My only hope is that Summer, our youngest sister, isn’t in on this too.

When we were kids, the alliances were straightforward. Pippa, Sebastian and I—the oldest trio—versus the younger ones. Things are more complex now.

Pippa breaks the silence. What did you think about Nadine?

I know what you’re up to, I reply. Drop it. I can get myself a woman, thank you very much. I avoid looking at her. I like Nadine a lot, but that doesn’t mean I’m right for her.

We disagree, Pippa says.

Strongly, Alice adds helpfully.


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